5 top tips for day 1 with your newborn baby
Paediatrician Dr Britta McLaren shares her top insights in to surviving the first day with your newborn baby. Best time to read it? Before giving birth!
A paediatrician reminds moms to get breastfeeding advice and take their pain medication on the day baby is born. (iStock)
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Whether you'll be prepared, toenails painted, or baby is going to show up unexpectedly, you'll appreciate these wise words.

1. Be prepared for anything

We have all pictured what it will be like the day our baby is born. You may have been for all your antenatal check-ups and even have a birth plan in place. While its good to be prepared, remember that there is a difference between being prepared and being in control.  Deliveries often come with an element of ‘surprise’ – be it something small or something drastic – anything can happen so be prepared and also be prepared to change the plan!

2. Get a lactation consultant to help you from day 1

Breastfeeding does not always come naturally. While most hospitals have staff that can help you, there is often not a dedicated lactation consult available in the postnatal ward, so it is worth getting a lactation consultant to come visit you on the first day and help you get it right from the beginning.

3. Get some rest

Even if your delivery was scheduled, don’t underestimate the stress that your body has gone through. A caesarean section is major surgery and the emotions of bringing life into this world are quite overwhelming. No doubt you will be excited to show your new baby to family and friends, but plan sometime to get some rest as well.

4. Do lots of skin-to-skin

Your baby has just been evicted from his first home. He will be craving something familiar.  nd nothing will be more familiar to him than the smell of mom, the feel of her heartbeat, and the sound of her breathing. It is also excellent to establish milk supply among a whole host of other benefits from mom and baby.

5. Take your painkillers

There is no need for you to be in pain post delivery; and if you are, you must ask the hospital staff to help you. There is excellent pain control available that is breastfeeding friendly. Pain will increase anxiety and inhibit your milk supply.

Dr McLaren will be speaking at Meg Faure’s #MeetUp session taking place as part of the inaugural The Baby Show sponsored by Pampers. The UK’s number one parenting event makes its debut 28-30 September at Kyalami International Convention Centre in Johannesburg. For more info visit babyshow.co.za.

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